Ancient economic thought is philosophy dating back to before the Middle Ages, includes earliest civilizations such as Babylon and Sumer, and refers to laws even before the Code of Hammurabi.

Ancient economies were primarily based on agriculture, and money was traded using commodities. For instance, the Shekel was originally a measurement of barley. This period gave birth to the first written evidence of interest rates, monetary fines, taxes, and laws governing inheritance.

Economics in Greece and Rome

Many observers believe that Aristotle and Xenophon were the world’s first known economists. Many of there writings, while philosophical in nature, cover modern economic principles such as fiat money. Aristotle took a moral approach to economics, suggesting that resources be allocated in such a way that children should come first, usury should be rejected, and that consumption should not exceed the point of satiation. Aristotle wrote about what could be considered marginal utility, and that the use of money to gain more wealth could create an endless and unsatisfying experience.

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